View Full Version : aging ballasts?

05/28/2014, 08:48 AM
Been using my T5 HO fixture for 6 years now, and not sure if I got a bad set of bulbs or not, but I'm starting to suspect my output is not what it use to be, even after the new bulbs.
I use the same set bulbs (bought 24 last year) in 2 different fixture, but I've got some die off and browning under the old fixture, specifically with SPS (not the LPS or soft) corals that been there for a couple of years. They are just not doing well. The corals under the new fixture are maintaining their bright coloration. Both fixtures are used in the same system, the old one in question is the main tank, the newer fixture is over the connected frag tank so water parameters are the same.

In the past, 6 years ago, when I see growth slowing, or browning out, I would swap out the bulbs after 9 months, and everything would be back to normal. So then I started swapping every 6 months for the past 2-3 years to prevent this slow growth stage. But this last swap 3 months ago didn't help and its as if I didn't replace the bulbs.

I guess its possible I have a batch with 1 or 2 bad bulbs, but I'll find out about that in 3 months when I switch them out again. Assuming the bulbs are good...

Ballasts are electrical components, and I guess they can rust? lose efficiency over time? Heat damage?

05/28/2014, 09:21 AM
The biggest issue I had when using T5's was the reflectors after a couple of years. Without a meter we are just guessing

06/01/2014, 10:00 AM
any one knows if ballasts lose efficiency over time?

06/01/2014, 02:43 PM
Electronic no, magnetic yes

06/02/2014, 08:49 PM
I don't know of any magnetic T5 ballasts, but after using magnetic MH ballasts for 10 years, I don't see any inefficiency to them.

Same draw from my watt meter as always, par from the bulbs are the same.

06/03/2014, 05:41 AM
It has been my experience that changing out magnetic ballast with a newer one was cooler and quieter than the old one it replaced. If you have one that has not broken down congrats. Sorry I was thinking back to the old T12 days on magnetic fluorescent tar ballast. I guess I am showing my age.